The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a set of recommendations governing commercial transactions created by the American Law Institute and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (Uniform Law Commission). The UCC is widely considered one of the most influential and important legal documents in the United States, and it has informed laws in 49 states and some U.S. territories since 1952. Since its initial publication, the UCC has been revised and amended a number of times.
The Code is divided into a number of transaction areas (known as articles). The original nine articles have now expanded to eleven. Article 2, a well-known and lengthy article about contract formation, precedes Article 2A, approved in 1987. Article 2A addresses leases of personal property, such as leasing a vehicle.
In 1989, drafters added Article 4A, which regulates the issuance, acceptance, and payment of electronic funds transfers. Article 9, concerning transactions where personal property is used as security for a loan or extension of credit, was revised in 2010.
Some revisions have been necessary to keep up with changing technology. For example, scholars reviewed and revised Article 2 for ten years to address issues relating to electronic commerce. The two drafting organizations disagreed about the types of protections to provide for consumers in digital transactions and each drafted their own uniform laws. No states have enacted these revisions.
Other revisions have addressed obsolete portions of the UCC. For example, in 1989, the Uniform Law Commission recommended that Article 6, which addresses “bulk sales”, be deleted. Article 6 provided protection to creditors of merchants who sell merchandise from stock. Historically, a proprietor could sell a large part of inventory to a buyer and abscond with the proceeds. Article 6 required creditors to be provided with notice for such a sale.
However, the credit risks today are different, because creditors can evaluate the credit worthiness of business owners and pursue them for debt repayment with greater ease than in years past.